Audi draw first blood in Texas

posted in: Free Practice, LMGTE-Am, LMGTE-Pro, LMP1, LMP2, WEC | 0

2016-6-heures-du-circuit-des-ameriques-adrenal-media-mh-1240_hdThe #8 Audi R18 of Lucas di Gras­si, Loic Duval and Oliv­er Jarvis topped the timesheets in both free prac­tice ses­sions on Thurs­day at the Cir­cuit of the Amer­i­c­as. Oliv­er Jarvis was the quick­est man of FP1 in the scorch­ing Tex­an heat, post­ing a fastest lap time of 1:48.498 on lap 10 of his 12-lap run. Just 0.047 sec­onds behind was the #2 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Neel Jani, with the sis­ter #7 Audi R18 round­ing out the top three.

Tem­per­a­tures cooled con­sid­er­ably for the sec­ond free prac­tice ses­sion, enabling most WEC entries to improve their times by at least a sec­ond. Once again it was the #8 car that appeared to be dialled in to the undu­lat­ing Cir­cuit of the Amer­i­c­as, with French dri­ver Loic Duval fin­ish­ing the ses­sion in top spot with the fastest lap of the day – a 1:47.235. In fact, Audi dri­vers set the five fastest times of day, all in FP2, with Bren­don Hart­ley the quick­est Porsche dri­ver (1:47.959) and Sébas­t­ian Bue­mi the fastest man in a Toy­ota (1:48.134).

ByKolles Rac­ing topped the timesheets in LMP1-L, with Oliv­er Webb pip­ping the sin­gle of Rebel­lion in FP2 to record the fastest time of the day (1:54.361). Swiss dri­ver Alexan­dre Imper­a­tori had gone quick­est for the #13 crew in FP1 with a 1:54.479.

LMP2 saw G-Dri­ve Rac­ing set the bench­mark in the heat of the day, with René Rast record­ing a 1:57.000 mid­way through the ses­sion. Baxi DC Rac­ing and Manor round­ed off the top three in FP1, but were unable to get with­in half a sec­ond of the Russ­ian-entered Ore­ca. G-Dri­ve then only man­aged to improve mar­gin­al­ly on their FP1 best in FP2. Instead, Gus­ta­vo Menezes took the hon­ours in the sec­ond ses­sion for the #36 Sig­nat­e­ch-Alpine with a 1:56.318, close­ly fol­lowed by Bruno Sen­na in the RGR Sport by Morand machine (1:56.534).

2016-6-heures-du-circuit-des-ameriques-adrenal-media-mh-1880_hdIn GTE Pro, it was Ford Chip Ganas­si Team UK who took the top spot in both ses­sions at their home race. Again, the cool­er con­di­tions saw lap times improve con­sid­er­ably in the sec­ond ses­sion com­pared to the first. Ste­fan Mücke was the fastest man of the day, post­ing a best lap of 2:04.714 just before the che­quered flag dropped on FP2. His team­mate in the #66 machine was the sec­ond-fastest man in the GTE Pro field, with the #95 Aston Mar­tin and the #51 AF Corse Fer­rari also show­ing good pace through­out the day.

Lar­bre Com­pe­ti­tion flew the star-span­gled ban­ner for Corvette in FP1, wth US dri­ver Ricky Tay­lor going fastest with a 2:07.412 ahead of the two Porsches of Abu Dhabi Pro­ton Rac­ing and Gulf Rac­ing. In FP2, Pedro Lamy was the only man to dip under the 2:07 bar­ri­er (and by some con­sid­er­able mar­gin, too), record­ing a fastest time of 2:06.092 – some 1.7 sec­onds ahead of his near­est chal­lenger in the form of Ben Bark­er in the #86 Gulf Rac­ing Porsche 911 RSR.

Free Prac­tice 3 starts at 10:30am local time on Fri­day (17:30 CEST). Qual­i­fy­ing begins lat­er on at 17:45 (00:45 CEST).

Images © FIA WEC Press­data­base (Mar­ius Heck­er —